Don’t Suffer Fools Gladly

Shakespeare came to mind when I first saw this ambiguous phrase, but it is not his at all. Actually, it comes from the Bible. Saint Paul was writing a letter to the Corinthians and using sarcasm, wrote, “for you suffer fools gladly, seeing yourself as wise” (IICorinthians 11:19). There needs to be a little history explained to get the full meaning. About 2000 years ago Corinth was a real fleshpot (if you know what I mean), and in them being of their ways, when the false apostles came to them, they rather listened to the false news than the teachings he/Paul preached about how to live their life according to Jesus Christ.

That sounds about right to me. Humans are humans and it’s easier to follow the ways we have engrained in us than to accept something new or foreign from what we have practiced. So, Paul, must have asked them to refrain from all their fleshly desires, and, well, you know how that goes…Shoot, most of us can not or had an extraordinarily hard time quitting cigarettes, let alone the ways of the flesh. And Paul wants us to what??? I will listen to the other guy down the street who says I can do everything I am used to doing, not change my ways, but feel guilty knowing there is more; I just don’t want to change anything. That sounds pretty human to me.

w-shakespeare-jesterNow take that phrase and fast forward about 2000 years to present day society. So, we now know where it came from, but the phrase means something different.

Today, people use the term freely when they are disgusted with people they think are stupid, fools, or beneath them in the social spectrum. Oops, there comes the second half of the quote “…seeing yourself as wise.”

But it can mean something a bit different. There are lists of celebrities who do not suffer fools gladly — such as Paul McCartney said that of Harrison when he died. I doubt that Steve Jobs had time to put up with fools or foolish ways. Al Gore was among the lists of influential people I found — and I strongly agree that he has no time to put up with foolish ways. He is on a mission, a climate mission, and his every minute counts to get his message out. The list continues with all people who have no time in their life for fools and their foolish ways. In America, we are a work driven nation and we basically have no time for what is not on the agenda. What needs to be accomplished is of utmost importance.

I will leave you with what G.K. Chesterton (an English writer known as the “prince of paradox”) said on the subject: “When you’re with fools, laugh with them and at them simultaneously.”

And then there is Darwin — he wrote “Do not laugh at the less evolved for they are trying their best with limted mental resources.”

I really don’t think Saint Paul meant all this when he wrote to the Corinthians. I think he said you think you are so darn smart but look at you following the fool rather than the truth. What do you think?

Have a great one…


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Fire at Will

I made a mistake on Friday when I wrote about Fire it Up, Will. That is not what the ad said. After seeing the ad again on TV, I paid more attention and the birds were saying “Fire at Will.” Or, at least I think that is what they were saying. The thing is that people only retain about half of what they hear, and then lose another half of that within the first couple of days. So much for me writing about what I hear on TV because I am not hearing half of what I thought I heard. There are three words in Fire at Will, I thought I heard Fire it up Will. And there is a world of difference in the meaning of those two phrases. So, I did hear a half of what I heard, “Fire” and “Will”. And on Friday I thought the rest of it was “it up” when in actuality it was only “at”.


Without going into what I wrote on about Fire it up Will, Fire at will is a military term when cannonballs were used. Apparently, some men were better at loading the cannons than others and after the generals realized this, they wanted the speedy military men to fire when they were ready instead of having to wait until everyone was ready, so the generals gave the orders to fire at will, allowing those men to fire at their discretion when they were ready.

Now, I don’t think that the birds were meant to be say to go ahead and shoot a gun (or cannonball) so, this other bird is insinuating that the unknown person in the clip may mean fire at Will (the man). Poor Will! So, really, what was the ad saying.

I think that this is just about as confusing as the ad — first off, I did not hear all the words, then is it to fire at your will or is it to fire at Will. Either way, if you are confused, I am even more so. I will remember the ad because I have made such a big deal of it in my mind, but who knows what I will ever remember about it in a month from now. By then, the birds could become people, the wire they were sitting on may become vehicles, and they may be saying shoot them up boys. So much for believing what you see or what you hear. What’s that old saying — believe a half of what you see and a quarter of what you hear. Now, I believe that…

As for tv commercials, there is nothing like the iconic “Where’s the Beef?” Plain, simple and demonstrative because the woman opened the hamburger bun to show you there was more bun than beef.

Have a great one…


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Fire It Up

I will start by confessing I heard this phrase on a Geico commercial and thought it was really cute. There were these birds on a wire talking to one another. One said, “Fire it up, Will.” The other bird said something like how do you know it’s Will. Another said, it’s not Will. Then the word Geico appeared.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFire it up — you would think it would have to do with a car, or maybe the cannonballs of old. But once I started searching this idiom it has nothing to do with either of these ideas. Wait for it — I was shocked. Fire it up refers to shooting a drug into your vein, or to begin smoking marijuana. Say what!!!???

I looked further, trying to associate the phrase with cars — you know, starting the motor, getting ready to go at a high speed like the NASCAR cars do. They say, fire your motors, but upon thinking about what they say, it’s not fire it up or fire your motors at all, it’s “Gentlemen (or Drivers), start your engines.”  Ah, how we substitute one phrase for another because we think it sounds similar and therefore the meaning should be similar, but come to find out we really do not know what it really means. And the definition — totally different from what we could ever expect.

Now, don’t get fire it up confused with fired up. When you are fired up your feelings are aroused or excited — think of passion, or it could mean to begin to smoke, which would bring us back to fire it up. You are not going to fire up your passion, but your passion will be fired up. Think about someone who really believes in an idea and is willing to give time, energy and money towards that passion, that person is fired up. Excited, aroused. Willing to give. That person is fired up.

Back to fire it up. In my search, I found many a song with the title of Fire It Up, and the majority of them tell stories of drugs, and then there is Joe Cocker’s version. His is the only lyrics that had nothing to do with drugs — he tells the story of a broken heart and he urges the broken heart to let love be fired up again.

I wonder if those who created the ad understood that the definition of fire it up deals with drugs. I wonder if Geico knows. Cute commercial, really cute, but now every time I see that commercial, I am going to wonder about Will…what is really going on away from the wire the birds are sitting on….

And if anyone can find me another definition for fire it up besides dealing with drugs, please share and where did you find it.

Until next time…have a great one…

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A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do

Seriously, what is this saying? And what is it that the man’s gotta do? People have said this saying to me through the years, and I always sit there, dumbfounded, trying to figure out what it is suppose to mean. For instance, after telling someone that I need to work on a project all weekend instead of enjoying time off from work, I would get a response of “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” Seriously? What kind of a response is that?

In actuality, the phrase/idiom is meant a couple different ways. First, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, it means you do whatever you have to do, even if it’s different or dangerous. I understand that it means you do whatever you have to do, but that element of difficulty or dangerous was added in every dictionary I used to confirm the explanation. Another dictionary confirmed the first definition by saying “something said when you are going to do something unpleasant or you may joke that it may be unpleasant.” Maybe I am just too matter of fact. This is what I have to do, and it really does not need a response, especially one that makes little sense to me.

It is also used as irony or sarcasm — you know, mocking someone or something or showing contempt.

I am not alone in saying that this idiom is silly to use. Fred MacMurry said it in 1955 in the film The Rains of Ranchipur, and Clyde Gilmour, a Canadian radio personality and film columnist, awarded the idiom a prize for the stupidest phrase ever used in a movie.

Actually, the phrase was first seen in print when John Steinbeck wrote and then published The Grapes of Wrath in 1939. In Chapter 18 of the book, Steinbeck wrote, “I know this man — a man got to do what he got to do.” The line never made it to the film version — I can understand why.

And today — well you can hear Dr. Horrible singing his version of “A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do.” And, well, I can’t make sense of those lyrics either. I guess I am doomed…..

Until next time…have a good week…

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Buckle Up Buttercup

Are you ready for the ride of your life? If so, “Buckle up Buttercup” because I’m taking you for a ride you won’t forget. Now, the ride may not have anything to do with a car or the car buckles — they may be involved —  but when we buckle up Buttercup,  it will be the ride of your life — you know, going together on a journey that will be memorable. Sometimes, as life changes with me, I say those words to myself because I have no clue what is going to happen, knowing I am embarking on a journey I have never traveled before. So hang on, it’s going to be a ride that is sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth, but definitely a ride, Buttercup.

buttercup-841225_1920 (1)But why Buttercup? I searched the web as far as I could go, and I never found why Buttercup was the name of choice, but it is used as a term of endearment.

Funny that this flower/weed is used in the context as a term of endearment because the inedible plant can be toxic to dogs and cats, can lead to serious problems for grazing animals, such as cattle and horses, sheep and pigs; and for humans, well, let’s just say that the plant tastes so bad that there is little chance of being poisoned.

Buttercup is also said with the saying, Pucker up Buttercup and Suck it up Buttercup. I tell ya, Buttercup gets around. And I sure would like to know how the buckle up, pucker up and suck it up all names Buttercup!

Take Pucker up Buttercup — you may remember this line in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Ed Rooney said to Grace, Pucker up Buttercup. Well, I don’t think Grace appreciated the innuendo, but he did say pucker up — wanna kiss? Buttercup, put those lips together and get ready for a big smacker.

In my book, buckle up and pucker up is better than suck it up. Don’t you just hate it when you meet that whiner? During World War I there was Captain Williams, company commander of the 5th Marines, who was at a battle in France when someone asked him to retreat. His response, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here! Suck it up Buttercup.” Sadly to say, he never made it through the battle, but his words have lived on. Keep going and stop your whining. Words to live by.

All in all, I may buckle up Buttercup, may even pucker up a few times, and know suck it up more than not during the course of this lifetime, but oh! what a ride!!! Don’t you just love life and what it brings? As I said, what a ride…

Until next week…have a great one…

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A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

I think I have said this before, but I have never heard this idiom before, so I really needed to investigate this one. Oh-ho, now I know what it means!

burger-and-fries-1371533338to1 (1)You know, McDonald’s serves the Happy Meal to the little tikes of the world. The small child will get a burger or nuggets or chicken sandwich with fries and usually apple juice or milk. Plus the toy, don’t forget the toy. And once again, this phrase has nothing to do with a Happy Meal, or any meal for that matter that serves a burger and fries.

So, what does this phrase mean? Shoot, it means the same as “a few cards short of a full deck”, “not the sharpest knife in the drawer”, and “the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top of the floor” to name a few. All are derogatory remarks pointing out someone’s shortcomings, specifically in the intelligence arena.

True, there are some people in this world who lack the basic information to form a sound decision, but there are times in an intelligent person’s life when those terms could be used. Think about it. A person is going through a highly stressed time, and they are “not quite all there”, or the person is sick, or the person is taking medicine that affects his thinking ability, or the person is preoccupied with a project. I know that I can become so preoccupied with a project that if I am interrupted, it takes me a minute or two to re-enter the physical world, and I may appear “not quite all there”.

So, when is it appropriate to use these derogatory remarks. Ah — Never. But I hear them frequently, and I am proposing that there are reasons for being “a few cards short of a happy meal” including not being given the basic information to make an informed decision.

I do enjoy writing this blog, and sometimes learning a new idiom and what it means. Today, though, I discovered something else about these miswords we use. Crossword answers. So, I am going to share answers with crossword lovers for “a few fries short of a happy meal” — insane, obtuse, dense, ditsy, and loopy when there is only one fry short of a happy meal. Insane means mentally deranged; obtuse means mentally slow; dense means thick, impenetrable; and ditsy is a scatterbrain/rattlebrain. Well, when you are loopy you are slightly crazy. Which, aren’t we all a bit?

And then there is the other synonym for this idiom — “if his brains were dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow his nose” —

With that said, I will say good night for now ….


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Back to the Drawing Board

I thought you could use this idiom/expression when you started a project over. For instance, I have finished my first book, and it is out (“Echoes From the Heart-Nine Short Stories”/ and I am ready to start the next book, a novel this time. The first one went well and I started with the short stories to get my feet wet. But now I am going to jump right in and write 80,000 words for a novel, and I thought I could say I was going back to the drawing board. But that is the wrong term for me to use.

th60NQPBQ7What happens when you go back to the drawing board is that the project has failed, synonymous with “back to square one”. I would need to start my original book over from scratch because it has failed. But, I do not need to start over. I will start over in the sense of writing another book, start the process over, but with a new idea, new characters, new settings, new everything. It’s just the process that I will be starting over. A writer starts over every time one piece is complete and the next one starts. So it is with nearly everyone who creates.  Yet nothing has failed. So, I was wrong, I can not use “back to the drawing board.” Or let’s say, I shouldn’t use the term.

The expression/idiom did not even exist until a cartoonist, Peter Arno, had his cartoon with a caption that read “Well, back to the drawing board” printed in the New Yorker Magazine in 1941. The cartoon showed a designer leaving a crash scene with rolled up plans under his arm. It depicted both failure (the crash) and starting over.

I searched and searched to find if this idiom could be used in my sense of the phrase — to start again, but to no avail. It is not a new beginning because I have learned a lot from producing “Echoes From the Heart”. I definitely do not want to wipe the slate clean, although I have erased the titles of the short stories from my white board and the hard copies of the stories have been filed away; I reiterate, I learned a lot from producing the book. And I do not need to start from scratch even though I will be creating an entirely different scenario with different characters; I reiterate, I learned a lot from writing and self publishing the short stories.

So, what do I say. I guess it will be short and sweet. I am organizing and readying my life to do it again — and maybe it is wrong to say that I am going back to the drawing board, but for me, that is where I am headed. And, oh my, I have so many ideas floating around my head. I may have to concentrate on one, but then work on others so I do not lose the scenes that filter in and out of my mind.

Maybe I should say, I am excited, I am going to do it again. I am going to repeat my first action. I am, I am, I am…back to the drawing board????

Have a good one…

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